MANILA, Philippines - With signs supposedly showing that state agents were involved in the killing of Romeo Capalla, Bayan Muna lawmakers have initiated a move to look into the recent incident as well as the growing number of extrajudicial killings under the Aquino administration.
Bayan Muna Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate have filed a resolution asking the House committee on human rights to look deeper into the killing of Capalla, chair of the Panay Fair Trade Center and a member of the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainee Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda).
The lawmakers pointed out that prior to being shot at close range by his assailants, the 65-year-old Capalla, a brother of Davao Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla, "followed the pattern of similar other victims of extrajudicial killings in the past: Vilified in public, placed under surveillance or named in the military's order of battle."
An Army officer has denied any military involvement in Capalla's killing and called the allegations "preposterous," adding that the military will help the police investigate the killing.
Capalla was first arrested during martial law on suspicion of being a member of the New People's Army, the communist party's armed wing. After his release, he pursued his fair trade advocacy and the production of organic food, according to the lawmakers.